Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/15/13 at 02:09 PM ET
from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,
SI.com: If they did take fighting out of the game, do you think that players would adjust and maybe, out of respect for the game, not take a run at a Crosby, a Gretzky, a Sakic?
SG: It's really hard to say. It's difficult to quantify because you never know until you eliminate that element from the game. Keep in mind that even for those who argue in favor of an outright ban, you'd no longer have the typical heavyweight enforcer, but you'd still have guys who are capable of taking care of themselves and their teammates when the gloves hit the ice. So you'd still have that measure of accountability, in my estimation. And the issue that the game is mostly focused on, and rightly so, is that we need to eliminate head trauma, deliberate and reckless blows to unsuspecting vulnerable players. I think that's where the focus is best kept.
The NHL has three arrows in its quiver. One is supplemental discipline. If [NHL VP for player safety] Brendan Shanahan doesn't like what he sees, he can hand down a suspension. Number two is the one-ice official. You're always in fear of putting your team in jeopardy with a minor, a double minor, or a major penalty if you act up on the ice and deliver one of those deliberate blows. Number three is if you've got a Brian McGrattan, a Stu Grimson or a Bob Probert on your roster, the players on the other team who may be inclined to deliver a blow like that are probably thinking in the back of their heads, "I have to answer for this if I do it, so I ought to be careful."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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